Individual Consultancy : Deep-dive analysis on the decentralization of the education sector in Thailand, UNICEF Thailand Country Office, Bangkok, Thailand, Job No# 559942

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfilling their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, a better future

UNICEF works to ensure the rights of all children in Thailand also the East Asia and Pacific Region.  This means the rights of every child living in this country, irrespective of their nationality, gender, religion or ethnicity, to:

  • survival – to basic healthcare, peace and security;
  • development – to a good education, a loving home and adequate nutrition;
  • protection – from abuse, neglect, trafficking, child labour and other forms of exploitation; and
  • participation – to express opinions, be listened to and take part in making any decisions that affect them

How can you make a difference?

The Social Policy Section, UNICEF Thailand Country Office (TCO) is seeking a qualified individual consultant to conduct a deep-dive analysis on the decentralization of the education sector in Thailand.

This assignment will build on UNICEF’s existing work on decentralization in the education sector, which was undertaken by the means of desk reviews and interviews with central government agencies. It will require the consultant to collect data from various sources, including (a) additional desk review, (b) secondary data retrieved from the database of relevant education and local government agencies, (c) key informant interviews (KIIs) via telephone and in-person, and (c) focus group discussions, and to perform a subsequent analysis with an aim of providing deeper understanding of how education sector functions at decentralization level. It will cover key issues, such as bottlenecks in planning, budgeting, and service delivery at the sub-national level, which will inform UNICEF’s strategies in engaging with sub-national government for greater results for children in Thailand.

Work Assignment and Deliverables:

  1. Assignment: Deep-dive analysis on the decentralization of the education sector in Thailand and advisory support on politics dynamics and governance.


#Working days

Delivery Schedule

Payment Schedule

1. (A) Summary of data collected through desk review; secondary data retrieved from the database of relevant education and local government agencies; key informant interviews (KIIs) via telephone and in-person; and focus group discussions2 and (B) presentation of key findings with PPT presentation to UNICEF

21 days

30 April 2023

30 April 2023

2. Draft report with presentation to UNICEF programme team

10 days

30 May 2023

30 June 2023

3. Final report

6 days

30 June 2023

4. Report on advisory services to Thailand Country Office on politics and governance.

36 days

(3 days/month)

1 March 2024 (upon request. Payment to be made based on actual days worked)

1 March 2024 (upon request. Payment to be made based on actual days worked)

The key informant interviews and the focus group discussions should include 40 – 45 stakeholders from various government agencies, for instance:

Central government

Department of Local Administration

  1. Educational Management and Promotion Division
  • Strategic Plan Sub-Division
  • Early Childhood Sub-Division
  1. Strategic Plan Division
  2. Local Fiscal Management Division

Office of the Decentralization to the Local Government Organization Committee

  1. Decentralization Plan and Policy Division
  2. Fiscal Decentralization Division

Office of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education

  1. Regional Education Management and Promotion Division
    • Policy and Plan Sub-Division
  2. Bureau of Policy and Strategy

Office of Basic Education Committee

  1. Basic Education Policy and Plan Bureau
  2. Education Innovation Area Management Bureau

Office of Education Council

  1. Early Childhood Development Policy Bureau

Local government (from 3 selected provinces)

Provincial Education Office

  1. Policy and Plan Division

Regional Education Office

  1. Policy and Plan Division

Primary Educational Service Area

  1. Policy and Plan Division
  2. Selected schools under Primary Educational Service Area

Secondary Educational Service Area

  1. Policy and Plan Division
  2. Selected schools under Secondary Educational Service Area

Local Administration Office

  1. Local Education Promotion and Management Division

Provincial Administration Office

  1. Education Division
  2. Selected schools under Provincial Administration Office

Sub-District Administration Office

  1. Education Division
  2. Selected schools under Sub-District Administration Office
  3. Selected ECD centers

The final report shall cover key issues and expected outputs, namely:


Expected Outputs

  1. Policy and planning

1.1   Understanding of the decision flow from the national to sub-national level[1] under the current governance model[2]

1.2   Understanding of the implementation of national education plans and policies, particularly how they are deployed from the national to sub-national level under the current governance model; a focus is given to (a) OBEC schools, (b) DLA schools, and (c) transferred schools

1.3   Understanding of similarities and differences in policy and planning between transferred and non-transferred schools; challenges and bottlenecks encountered by both types of schools; and incentives and motivations to facilitate school transfers

1.4   Understanding of how national, provincial, and local policies and plans related to ECE are connected, gaps / challenges in term of policy implementation, how ECE is linked to pre-elementary education under local plan

  1. Roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities

2.1   Understanding of the division of role, responsibilities, and accountabilities/decision-making functions among the national, provincial, and local government agencies, both by laws and in practice, gaps between what are legally lettered and their interpretation, as well as challenges encountered in terms of overlap and duplication of works

  1. Budgeting

3.1   Mapping of decision-makers and budget flow between national-provincial-local levels, both upward direction (formulating and submitting budget request) and downward direction (approving and allocating budget), coordination of budget formulation and allocation between central-provincial-local, budget M&E and challenges encountered at each layer

3.2   Understanding of available guidance on budget formulation, planning, and appraisal

3.3   Understanding of how local schools under OBEC and LAO are financed, cross subsidized by LAO to OBEC owned schools, challenges and concerns

3.4   Understanding of how ECE is financed, source of fund, limitations and bottlenecks

  1. Institution

4.1   Mapping of vertical and horizontal institutional mechanisms for education policy and budget coordination and implementation between central-provincial-local-school-ECE, based on the current decentralization system, what work and do not work effectively, key challenges / constraints encountered 

  1. Operation

5.1   Understanding of how national education agencies control and regulate operations of provincial and regional education offices and education service area offices and schools.

5.2   Understanding of how educational service area offices operate at the regional/provincial and local levels, overlap of operation between education offices and LAOs, challenges and problems encountered

5.3   Understanding of LAO’s operation and associated challenges, how central / provincial/ESAO agencies provide supervision

5.4   Understanding of drivers and incentives for transferred schools, similarities and differences in operations of transferred and non-transferred schools, challenges, and bottlenecks encountered by both types of schools

5.5   Understanding on how ECE is operated by LAOs, connection with pre-elementary education, current challenges or problems encountered

5.6   Assessing school autonomy and functioning with reference to school management and planning, for e.g. school autonomy in budget planning and approval; school autonomy in personnel management; the participation of the school council in school finance; the assessment of school and student performance; and school accountability to stakeholders

  1. Future Decentralization Direction

6.1   Understanding of decentralization trend, foreseen changes in roles and responsibilities, institutional mechanisms, and budget at the central-provincial-local levels, as well as challenges and bottlenecks – with a focus on immediate advocacy points and medium-term recommendations

Duration of Contract:
March 2023 – March 2024

Work Location:  
Home based.

Duty Travel:  
The assignment will include field data collection in 3 selected provinces (5 days each).

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

• Master’s degree in public administration, public policy, economics, social sciences or another related area.

• A minimum of 5 years’ experience in sub-national governance.

• A minimum of 2 years’ experience in education.

• Experience in working with government agencies, and other development agencies.

• Experience in conducting qualitative research, including data collection, analysis, and communication.

Interested candidates are requested to submit CV, full contact information of minimum 3 references, availability, and proposed monthly professional fee in THB by 16 March 2023


For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People, and Drive for Results.

To view our competency framework, please visit here.


UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.



Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

UNICEF is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children

[1] Schools are included in ‘sub-national level’ as the destination points.

[2] The current governance model of the education sector includes both DLA and OBEC.

Advertised: 03 Mar 2023 SE Asia Standard Time
Deadline: 16 Mar 2023 SE Asia Standard Time

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